Checklist published for in-home palliative care

A study by Spanish researchers presents new information for palliative care teams that administer sedation to patients at home.1 Their findings prove that palliative sedation does not hasten death among terminally ill patients.

The researchers reviewed medical records for 370 patients in palliative home care. Researchers looked at situations where caregivers used different types of drugs to relieve intolerable suffering of end-of-life cancer patients. Among the 370 patients in the study, 245 (66%) died at home, and 125 (34%) died in a hospital or hospice.

As a result of their research, the research team developed a standard checklist for in-home palliative care patients. This treatment checklist can be used to evaluate the frequency and efficacy of palliative sedation on cancer patients dying at home.

The checklist covers items that should be addressed in the clinical assessment and preparation of the patient for palliative sedation. Specific guidelines for administration of sedation, as well as monitoring of the patient and family, are included.

Reference

1. Alonso-Babarro A, Varela-Cerdeira M, Torres-Vigil I, et al. At-home palliative sedation for end-of-life cancer patients. J Palliative Med 2010. Doi: 10.1177/0269216309359996.